China is being blamed for a major cyber attack on the computers at the Bureau of Meteorology, which has compromised sensitive systems across the Federal Government.
Multiple official sources have confirmed the recent attack, and the ABC has been told it will cost millions of dollars to plug the security breach, as other agencies have also been affected.
The bureau owns one of Australia’s largest supercomputers and provides critical information to a host of agencies.
“As we have reiterated on many occasions, the Chinese government is opposed to all forms of cyber attacks,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
The confusion that plagued a jury in a computer hacking trial has followed the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where hypotheticals and technical questions abounded during oral argument Monday.
Michael Musacchio was convicted in May 2013 of one felony count of conspiracy to make unauthorized access to a protected computer and two felony counts of hacking. He was sentenced to 63 months in prison.
The jury in Musacchio’s case received the erroneous instruction that it had to find proof that he had accessed a private computer without authorization and exceeded his authorized access, according to the Fifth Circuit ruling. The jury found him guilty on all three counts, after which he claimed that the government failed to prove both elements of the charge as it was explained to the jury.
Three unnamed Greek banks are the most recent victims of an extortion campaign in which a hacker group is attempting to fully take down their websites. The group, calling itself the Armada Collective, apparently made its first demand on Thursday of last week, at which point it also launched the first of its distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Those attacks succeeded in disrupting transactions at every bank, the Financial Times reported. DDoS attacks overload websites’ servers in an effort to take them fully offline, and the Armada Collective has a set price to stop its efforts: each bank must pay 20,000 Bitcoin, or $7,208,200. The financial institutions aren’t bending under pressure, however, and are instead strengthening their DDoS defenses. Greece’s central bank and its police electronic crime unit are also monitoring the banks’ computer systems.